Is DMT the Answer To Unlocking The Truth About Existence And Reality?
In the 1990s, psychiatrist Rick Strassman conducted pioneering research on the effects of DMT, described in his book DMT: The Spirit Molecule. This was the first time in over 20 years that the US government had allowed human studies on psychedelic drugs since such research had been effectively banned. Volunteers, who were all experienced users of psychedelic drugs, found that high doses of DMT had a usually overwhelming and instantaneous psychedelic effect, that Strassman described as a “nuclear cannon”. As this rush progressed, most volunteers lost awareness of their bodies and of their surroundings at least until the effects peaked after about two minutes (Strassman, Qualls, Uhlenhuth, & Kellner, 1994). After a few minutes, volunteers were able to begin describing their ongoing experience, which normally lasted 30 minutes. All volunteers experienced visual imagery that could be seen with eyes open or closed. Colours were brighter, more intense and more deeply saturated than in normal awareness or dreams. Many participants saw kaleidoscopic geometric patterns, as well as concrete recognisable scenes. Typically, participants felt initialanxiety at the rush effect, which was frequently followed by intense euphoria, although mixed emotions, such as fear and excitement, were also common. Mentally, participants noted that after their initial confusion at the rush subsided, their thought processes seemed clear and normal and they felt able to observe what was happening (Strassman, et al., 1994).
Strassman (2001) reported that “about half” of the 60 volunteers entered what he described as “freestanding, independent levels of existence” of a highly unusual nature. These places were inhabited by what volunteers described as intelligent “beings”, “entities”, “aliens”, “guides”, and “helpers”. These appeared in a variety of forms, such as “clowns, reptiles, mantises, bees, spiders, cacti, and stick figures.” These beings have been reported by other investigators, including Terrence McKenna, who described them as “self-transforming machine elves,” as well as in more sober case reports from research on people withschizophrenia conducted in the 1950s. Strangely enough, reports of these kinds of beings seem to be unique to DMT, as Strassman was unable to find anything similar in the research literature on other psychedelic drugs.
There were some consistent themes in experiences of entity contact. Participants frequently reported that the beings seemed to be waiting for them. Volunteers were subjected to an examination by these beings in what appeared to be a technologically advanced setting. Volunteers felt like their mind and body was probed and tested, or even modified in some unexplained way. The beings communicated with the user through gestures, telepathy, or visual imagery. Sometimes the entities seemed loving and caring, other times emotionally detached. Strassman noted the striking parallels between these entity contact experiences and accounts of alien abduction. He considered that “alien abduction” experiences might occur due to the spontaneous release of naturally occurring DMT in the human brain, although this theory has never been tested.
Intriguingly, many volunteers refused to believe that these experiences were hallucinations or dreams, as they seemed too real. Strassman reported being initially quite baffled by and unprepared for the frequency of these entity experiences among his volunteers. In his book he even entertains the idea that these entities are genuine inhabitants of some sort of normally invisible alternative reality, perhaps of a parallel universe.
From a hard-nosed scientific perspective, such claims are hard to believe, to say the least. The idea that there are invisible realities inhabited by intelligent entities that cannot be detected by any empirical means but can be perceived only by people who are in altered states of brain chemistry is difficult to reconcile with a modern scientific worldview. Strassman expresses a more general belief in what I would call psychedelic mysticism. This is the belief that psychedelic drugs including LSD and psilocybin, as well as DMT, can provide true insights into the deeper nature of reality. For example, after using these drugs, people may become convinced that there are realities beyond the everyday one, that there is life after death, and that there is an objective spiritual presence in the universe.
A very interesting connection to say the least.
HISTORY & SYMBOLISM
Throughout the span of recorded human history, Pinecones have served as a symbolic representation of Human Enlightenment, the Third Eye and the Pineal Gland.
Conifer Pine Trees are one of the most ancient plant genera on the planet, having existed nearly three times longer than all flowering plant species. The Pinecone is the evolutionary precursor to the flower, and its spines spiral in a perfect Fibonacci sequence in either direction, much like the Sacred Geometry of a rose or a sunflower.
Our “Pine”al Gland, shaped like (and named after) the Pinecone, is at the geometric center of our brain and is intimately linked to our body’s perception of light. The Pineal modulates our wake-sleep patterns and circadian rhythms, remains uniquely isolated from the blood-brain barrier system, and receives a higher percentage of blood flow than any other area of the body save the kidneys.
It is considered by many to be our biological Third Eye, the “Seat of the Soul,” the “Epicenter of Enlightenment” — and its sacred symbol throughout history, in cultures around the world, has been the Pinecone.
The Egyptian Staff of Osiris, dating back to approximately 1224 BC, depicts two intertwining serpents rising up to meet at a pinecone. Modern scholars and philosophers have noted the staff’s symbolic parallels to the Indian “Kundalini,” a spiritual energy in the body depicted as coiled serpents rising up from the base of the spine to the Third Eye (Pineal Gland) in the moment of enlightenment. Awakened Kundalini represents the merging and alignment of the Chakras, and is said to be the one and only way to attain the “Divine Wisdom” bringing pure joy, pure knowledge and pure love.
Depictions of Hindu deities are also interwoven with both literal and symbolic representations of serpents and pinecones. In some cases, Hindu gods are carved, sculpted or drawn holding a pinecone in outstretched hand. Shiva, the most prominent god in the Hindu tradition, is consistently depicted with a head, or coiled hair, shaped in marked similarity to a pinecone and interwoven with a serpent or serpents.
In addition to spiritual consciousness and enlightenment, pinecones have also historically been used as symbols of everlasting or eternal life. Ancient Assyrian palace carvings, dating back to 713-716 BC depict four-winged God-like figures purposefully holding aloft pinecones, or in some cases, using a pinecone to pollinate their depiction of the Tree of Life — a tribute, perhaps, to both the Pinecone’s immortality symbolism and its role as an icon of enlightenment.